Essential Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Alzheimer’s Disease

Take an active role in managing your healthcare by having an open conversation with your doctor. Write down your questions ahead of time, and don’t leave the office without understanding the recommendations for your condition, your doctor’s responsibilities, and your responsibilities. If you think you may have problems recording or remembering the responses to your questions, bring a friend or family member to the appointment. You can also prepare for your visit by reading educational materials on Alzheimer’s disease, including publications provided by the American Health Assistance Foundation at www.ahaf.org/alzheimers/resources/publications.html.

What do you want to know?

Take along these questions to ask your doctor. Check the ones you feel best fit your situation, and add your own questions if they’re not listed. Write down your doctor’s responses.

  • How much experience do you have in diagnosing and treating people with Alzheimer’s disease? If you haven’t had much experience with Alzheimer’s patients, can you recommend a specialist who has?
  • How can you be sure the problems I’m experiencing are really Alzheimer’s and not just part of the normal aging process?
  • Exactly what tests are you conducting?
  • Am I taking any medications that could be making my symptoms worse?
  • What are the stages of Alzheimer’s disease and what stage am I in now?
  • What changes can I expect over time in behavior and mental capabilities? How quickly will these changes occur?
  • Is it safe for me to drive? Is it likely that I may lose the capacity to drive over time?
  • Should coworkers and friends be told about this diagnosis? Do you have any advice about the best approaches to use in discussing Alzheimer’s with them?
  • What’s the best place for care: at home or in a nursing facility?
  • Are you aware of any new information or research concerning Alzheimer’s?
  • What services and support organizations for Alzheimer’s disease are in my area?
  • What are the chances another family member will get this disease?

For more information about Alzheimer’s disease,
visit www.ahaf.org/alzheimers or email us at info@ahaf.org

Disclaimer: The information provided is a public service of the American Health Assistance Foundation and is not intended to constitute medical advice. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice; all medications and supplements should only be taken under medical supervision. The American Health Assistance Foundation does not endorse any medical product or therapy.
Sources: Some of this information was obtained from materials published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Institute on Aging, Mayo Clinic, and Merck Source.

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